Monday, February 28, 2011

The Winner is All Tied Up

I'm very excited to announce the winner of the Second Annual Two Kinds of People Writing Challenge: Deborah Carroll for her essay Women Who Scarf, which is posted below. You can find more of Debby's writing at her Raising Amazing Daughters Blog. Thanks to all who entered and a special thanks to my panel of guest judges, Ed Padala, Judi Silverman and Molly Bearman for helping me make this difficult decision. Enjoy Debby's essay and start thinking about your entry for the Third Annual 2KoP Writing Challenge, January 2012.

In addition to this guest post, Debby has chosen as her prize the 2KoP logo baseball cap. A special thanks to Laura Munson, who generously promoted this contest and who will also be sending Debby a signed copy of her best-selling memoir, This is Not the Story You Think It Is.

Women Who Scarf
by Deborah Carroll

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can accessorize with a scarf, and those who are woefully unable to do so. Sadly, I am the latter.

You see them on the streets of any town or city, and you imagine that in their minds, they’re walking a runway or catwalk. They’re strutting their stuff, while my stuff … well, it’s moving down the sidewalk, but something is amok.

They may be wearing jeans, a sweater, boots, a jacket, and a scarf, but when you look at them, you see the total package, a well-put-together woman.

When I put on a scarf, it appears to be something I added to my outfit haphazardly. It rarely (read: never) pulls me together and makes me look as if I gave careful thought to my outfit. The women who “scarf” well (yes, they do it so well, it becomes a verb) look like a complete and detailed image. Somehow the scarf ties it all together and their stuff is ready to strut.

It lifts them from frumpy to fabulous.

I can’t get there. If I’m wearing jeans, a sweater, boots, jacket, and scarf, that’s what you see when you look at me– jeans, sweater, boots, jacket, scarf. Clearly, I lack the fashionista gene. I also don’t own any fashionista jeans, but I don’t think that’s the problem.

A study of these women reveals that the cost of what they wear isn’t the determining factor in how good they look. These excellent “scarfers” come from all walks of life, and all socio-economic levels. It’s not what they’re wearing; it’s how they combine the accessories with flair and flow.

Now, this fashion distinction may not be important in the larger scheme of things. We all know it’s what’s inside that matters. But, what if our exterior reflects our interior? What if my inability to look “put-together” bespeaks an internal scattered mess?

For that reason, I decided to tackle my fashion failings head on and from head to toe. I sought help online. Here’s what I found, “Remember accessories are tiny pointing arrows that draw the attention to the spot you wear them on.”

Tiny pointing arrows? Could that be my problem? Did I shun the spotlight of those tiny pointing arrows for some reason? Was I afraid to have people look at me? Nah, I once aspired to a career in theater, so that couldn’t be it.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it’s not about the clothes at all. Maybe it’s about the people wearing the clothes. Is there something in their posture or their demeanor that is lacking in mine?

I visited a physiatrist, a doctor who specializes in treating the whole person to restore full functionality. If I were lacking something physical, I needed to know. Plus, I had tendonitis, so I figured he could fix that too, while he was treating my “whole person.”

He did treat my tendonitis, and, amazingly, he did find something amok in my fashionista profile. Well, he didn’t put it that way, but he did say that I walk with my head jutting forward. While he didn’t venture an opinion about whether this would render me fashion faulty, he did say it’d likely cause me to have neck and back pain, as well as repeated bouts of tendonitis. He gave me exercises to do in order to check and correct my posture.

I left there thinking that if I just hold my head higher and straighter, maybe I could finally be one of those people. You know, the other kind.

I went home and put on jeans, sweater and, yes, a scarf. I held my head high and checked in with my body. Head directly over shoulders. Shoulders back, tummy in, hips over feet, all in a straight line. I looked in the mirror …

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can accessorize with a scarf, and those who are woefully unable to do so. Sadly, I am the latter. But I have really good posture.

Do you scarf? Let us know by leaving your comment here.
Thank you to the other entrants for their submissions. Check out their links. If they have posted their submissions, I have linked to them, as well:

Alicia  Widows and Those Who Don't Know What to Say
Melissa Adams — Traveling the World with No GPS
Christi Craig — A Chiropractor's Dream
Robin Dake — A.M. People and P.M. People
Nikki Di Virgilio What Two Kinds of People am I Talking About?
JennyRomper Room
Linda Gartz — Family History: Bold or Boring?
Julie Ellinger Hunt — Poem: A Demonstrative Tempest
Dana Leipold — Idol Worshipping at the Foot of the Pop Star Machine Generator
Mary Ryan Sigmond Before and After
Robert Sloan — Humans and Cats
Candace George Thompson — A Squirrel Was My Psychiatrist

Photo credit: NEW Summer scarves by The Greenery Nursery via a Creative Commons License.


Alicia said...

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this challenge. I really enjoyed it and was pleased with my entry -- even if I have continued to tweak it long after submitting it.

And I am definitely one of those poor souls who cannot scarf. My mother, on the other hand, scarfs magnificently!

Susan Bearman said...

My daughter also scarfs magnificently. She's been scarfing for years.

Debby said...

Thanks for taking the time (and I'm sure it was no small amount) to organize this. I had a blast writing about 2KoP. And, I'm still trying to scarf. Maybe I can get my daughters to help me!

Unknown said...

When it comes to scarves, I certainly have fun with them and find myself becoming a bit more confident using them of late.

Lanita A said...

Loved this! And totally get it. The only scarfing I do well is the kind that involves food.

Anonymous said...

This made me laugh out loud - what fun! It also was comforting to know that I'm not the only one who can't scarf. I'm wondering if it's a personality or a gene thing? Maybe shorter people can't pull it off. Perhaps extroverts out-scarf introverts. Whatever. I, for one, have given up and am sticking with turtlenecks.
Candace George Thompson

Amanda Hoving said...

Loved this! Sadly, I cannot "scarf." Often I can't even zip.

Susan Bearman said...

Candace — I used to think being a bit overendowed prevented me from being a good scarfer. Now I think it's all in the attitude.

Amanda — Hahaha. It's only my pants that I'm struggling to zip lately.